Handura targets top six at World Cup
By Michael Uugwanga
AFTER guiding the country’s senior women’s indoor hockey team to its second successive Africa Cup win, coach Erwin Handura said the attention will be to finish in the top six at next year’s global tournament that will run from February 3 to 7 in Liège, Belgium.
Finishing in the top six, will guarantee Namibia an automatic entry to the next World Cup, meaning the country will not need to play in the Africa Indoor Hockey Cup, which they have successfully won, in 2017 at The Dome in Swakopmund and the past weekend in Durban, South Africa.
Namibia is currently ranked 9th in the world and first in Africa, while South Africa -a team they twice beat in the finals- is ranked 14th in the world and second in Africa.
Speaking to Confidente Sport after retaining the Africa Cup, Handura said this time around they want to better the result of 2018 when they only managed to finish in ninth place in Berlin, Germany where the last World Cup was held.
“We are looking at winning a couple of matches as we want to finish high at the World Cup, like in the top five or six, because then you know that you automatically qualify to the next world cup thereafter,” he said.
Handura also said that retaining the cup did not come as a surprise as his team is the best on the continent.
“Well of course we are one of the few team sports that has qualified consecutively for world cups like rugby and cricket, but unlike them (rugby and cricket) we have won a couple of games at the Indoor World Cup and we are still going to do good as we are looking at once again winning a couple of games. I promised that we were going to win the cup as I believed in the ability of my team to defend the cup and that is exactly what we did,” said Handura.